LG G Watch R hands-on: circular Android Wear magic


Last week, LG revealed its round Android Wear contender to the popular Moto 360 – the LG G Watch R, which is the first smartwatch from a major manufacturer to sport a perfectly-round display (the Moto 360 has some “wasted” space at the bottom). But is this enough to rule out that the G Watch R is the best smartwatch up until now? Well, we can't tell if this will be the case indeed unless we gave the G Watch R right at our fingertips, and at IFA 2014, we had this chance.

Let's start with the design of the gizmo. It's a metal-clad wearable and, frankly said, looks spectacular. Well, its display is not bent as the one of the Samsung Gear S, but  No wasted space here, folks, just a good-looking 1.3” plastic OLED display with a resolution of 320x320 pixels. The watch itself is made of metal and has a relatively large size, but then again, we are talking about smartwatches here – all of the hardware bolts and nuts have to be inside. Despite the size, however, the G Watch R feels quite good on the hand.

An IP67 water-resistance certification is also on board, which somewhat makes it up for the big size. Speaking of hardware insides, LG's round contender comes with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon, half a gigabyte of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage space, while a 410mAh battery keeps the lights on.

The G Watch R comes with a standard, 22mm strap, which is user replaceable. LG says that it will be offering a number of different ones for its round wearable, but initially, it will ship with the default strap – a calf leather one, black in color.

Being powered by Android Wear, one would expect the LG G Watch R to be quite similar to the company's first wearable, the G Watch, in terms of interface and on-board features. And this is spot-on correct – both of LG's wearables come with the same overall level of functionality.

As a whole, we feel like the G Watch R is a notable addition to the Android Wear world, and although it doesn't necessarily run circles around its main rivals, it employs most of the features that have been wildly-anticipated by the potential customers - Android Wear, stainless steel, classic head-turning design.

The LG G Watch R will try to grab a bigger portion of the market when it lands on the shelves this October. By then, however, it will have to face some tough competition from the likes of the aforementioned Moto 360, Samsung Gear S, and Asus' brand new and compelling ZenWatch


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